Kenpo was brought to Australia from Dublin, Ireland by Sam Purcell who moved to Perth in 1988. Classes are now run by one of Sam’s first Black Belts, Slade Norris. Both Sam and Slade are partners in the school and actively participate in the classes.
Our Kenpo site aims to evolve the system by keeping up-to-date with constant progressions in the world of martial arts. This involves addressing newly popular combat arts such as Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Also, the advancement of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)is probably the most dynamic and realistic form of pressure testing that a self-defence system can draw upon. There are many arguments (and valid reasons) as to why MMA is different from street self-defence (which Kenpo excels at). However, none of these arguments justify turning a blind eye to the rapid development of this combat sport over the last decade. With the application of Kenpo logic, MMA could prove to be one of the fastest vehicles of evolution for Kenpo in current times.
Armoury of Skills
The core of the system is self-defence techniques, which are designed to teach principles of motion and develop an armoury of skills. Kenpo training addresses a broad range of attacks and scenarios such as: pushes, punches, kicks, restraint holds, tackles, locks and chokes, ground positions, weapons, and multiple attackers.
Many answers lie in a single move, but many moves do not necessarily give a single answer.
— Ed Parker
Techniques are learned in 3 phases. The first is an “ideal phase”, where the attack is presented in a prescribed manner so that a response can be practiced and familiarised. The second phase is a “what-if” phase, where variables are added to the ideal attack so that the technique can be applied to different scenarios. This prepares the Kenpo student for what the assailant is capable of doing, not just what they think they are going to do. The third and final phase is the “spontaneous phase”, where an attack is responded to with all “what-if” scenarios taken into account. It is at this last stage that self-defence becomes a subconscious reflex.
Flexible in thought and action
Kenpo is flexible in thought and action so as to blend with encounters as they occur. The art is tailored to all body sizes, environments and situations. The system allows each practitioner to gradually develop his or her own style using the basics as a foundation. As a Kenpo student builds up knowledge of the art, it is this adaptability that forms the essence of Kenpo. Since Kenpo tailors to the individual, no two Black Belts should be alike. Kenpo is a system of self-defence evolved to meet today’s circumstances. It continues to evolve with the times.
“Ultimately, martial art is an expression of oneself”Bruce Lee